Cards GM: Contract talks with Fitzgerald ‘ongoing’

INDIANAPOLIS — Cardinals general manager Rod Graves knows how important perennial Pro Bowl WR Larry Fitzgerald is to the franchise, and he assured reporters Friday that the team is working hard to knit together a new contract for its star.

“Those negotiations with Larry Fitzgerald and his agent, Eugene Parker, are ongoing,” Graves said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “At this point, I have all reasons to be optimistic — and that’s more my personality than anything else.

“Larry means a lot to the football team — I think that’s an understatement. We’re going to work and try and do everything we can to try and consummate the deal.”

Fitzgerald’s current contract runs through the 2012 season and pays him base salaries of $7 million in 2011 and $5 million the year after that.

However, the Cardinals value Fitzgerald enough to have solicited his opinion earlier this month on who should play quarterback next season. Fitzgerald reportedly suggested the team pursue Kevin Kolb from the Eagles or Marc Bulger from the Ravens.

Fitzgerald, 27, managed 90 catches for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns last season. It was his fifth career 1,000-yard season in seven years.

Marc Sessler

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